Skip to content

Can I Drink Alcohol with Sertraline? Antidepressants and Drinking

  • by

I am often asked – can I drink alcohol with Sertraline? The short answer is yes! A little alcohol isn’t going to derail your progress but before you open a bottle lets unpick that a little bit and make sure we fully understand the issues with alcohol and antidepressants, particularly SSRIs.

If you’re watching this video right now you probably contemplating having a drink i don’t blame you but can you drink alcohol while you’re taking an ssri and it’s a really good question to ask if you’re here i’m hoping this video provides the answer in short the answer is yes but before you go and pop that celebratory bottle of champagne hang around for a little

Minute if you’ve taken the time to look for videos on the subject i’m certain you want a clearer answer than that so let’s spend a moment on picking it i promise by the end of this video i’m not gonna have told you you’re not allowed to drink i just want to make sure that you fully understand what’s gonna happen hi there my name’s alex welcome back to a happy change

And if you don’t know this channel is all about mental health and recovery from mental illness so like yourself i’ve struggled with mental illness depression anxiety and i currently take sertraline which is an ssri in fact it’s one of the most popular ones sometimes known as zoloft but this video applies regardless of the antidepressant ssri that you’re currently

Taking so like many adults when you prescribed a medication you quickly get this piece of paper out you check whether or not you’re allowed alcohol and then you probably ignore it anyway but then maybe worry about it somewhat ssri manufacturers suggest that you should avoid alcohol in fact it says it right here alcohol should be avoided whilst taking sertraline so

That goes for any ss all right but let’s face it that doesn’t sound very fun and it might be impractical my approach to ssris and antidepressants in general is that they should allow you to function in everyday life for many adults that includes drinking alcohol that includes access to alcohol at social events that includes being able to open a bottle of wine at

The weekend relax and enjoy it and i want to make sure that you feel that these pills these medications aren’t a punishment they’re not a reason to shut down all of those things that you enjoy in fact it might be that you withdrawn yourself in those social situations and the idea of you using medication to allow you to socialize again suddenly contrasting with

The idea of not being able to drink at those social situations leaves you feeling a little bit cold but is it safe in that leaflet it says to avoid alcohol so before we get into the good news let’s talk a little bit about the things to consider we know that alcohol is a depressive it’s gonna relax you and regardless of whether or not you struggle with a mental

Illness chances are there’s been times where you’ve had a little bit too much to drink and cried over some nonsense you found yourself stuck in a row and emotionally responded to it in a negative way so if we’re taking a medication to fight depression whilst simultaneously consuming a liquid there is a depressive there’s a little bit of a kind of complex process

You’ve got to go through there about weighing up the pros and the cons also think about the side effects of drinking too much alcohol usually it would include things like maybe an upset stomach a headache dry dehydrated mouth achy limbs achy bones unable to get out of bed now actually those side effects probably sound quite familiar if you’re on a course of ssris

Already because those first few weeks on sertraline or prozac or whatever it might be chances are those are the things that you felt and those are the things that played you purposefully putting yourself in a position where you might experience those negative side effects is definitely something i want you to consider and perhaps that’s where moderation is key

Also worth bearing in mind that where people struggle with mental illness alcohol can really quickly become a coping mechanism it’s very easy to take a nice sip of rum and coke and feel that weight lift from your shoulders and feel like there’s not a care in the world anymore it’s very easy to think if i drank a bottle of wine i wouldn’t be so stressed about that

Situation that triggers me if you have a mental illness particularly one that requires medication like it or not you’re a vulnerable person and alcohol loves vulnerable people so be really clear in your limits and if at any point you feel like you’re using alcohol to compensate that’s when you should speak to your doctor about it it isn’t unusual for people in

My position or your position to struggle with alcohol abuse or alcohol dependency when we take a sip of alcohol it can impact the neurotransmitters in our brain so that serotonin that dopamine cycle of production can be disruptive and what that means is if we drink enough alcohol our body can start to associate alcohol with happiness and that’s why lots of people

Become dependent because their brain is telling them the only way you’re going to be happy right now is if you drink that bottle of wine if you go and drink that eight-pack of beer whatever it might be whatever your vice is so be really clear if your brain is telling you to drink to be happy that’s when there’s an issue if those things don’t apply to you you feel

Totally in control of your drinking and you feel like you’re the type of person that can open a bottle of wine have a couple of glasses and then leave it for tomorrow if that’s you then i say enjoy yourself put yourself in a position where you can enjoy a few drinks sometimes a time there’s actually not going to be much impact on your recovery using ssris with just

The occasional drink or even the you know that odd weekend where you go out for a few too many all of those things are gonna be fine you’re gonna find yourself in those positions and actually if it’s important for you to be able to interact in that way socially i would say it’s probably crucial for your mental health that you still feel engaged and social i would

Also say that if you intend to have a few drinks accept that the next day it’s just a little bit of recovery time actually it’s really crucial that you have recovery time so if you’re gonna go out on a friday don’t plan to do like x amounts of things in the morning on saturday just accept you’re gonna have a bit of a lazy morning and that’s fine sometimes take it

Slow listen to your body do bear in mind that as your body’s recovering from alcohol have an alcohol in the system whether that’s who are hangover or just the impact of it being in your bloodstream throughout the night actually what your body is doing is trying to kind of flush that out when it’s doing that it can be less engaged with its other jobs which include

At the moment for you countering mental illness your body can only do so many jobs at once and if one of those jobs is letting you recover from a hangover it’s going to be less effective at letting you recover from mental illness enjoy if you haven’t a drink tonight cheers that’s my ghost drink right there and i’ll see you next time

Transcribed from video
Can I Drink Alcohol with Sertraline? Antidepressants and Drinking By Alex Robb